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With h brown

Progressive champion Supervisor Chris Daly, son Jack, and wife Sarah Low Daly,
make a grand entrance to the 2007 San Francisco Progressive Convention, held Saturday at the Tenderloin Community School, with Fog City impresarios h. Brown
and Elaine Santore in tow.
Photo(s) by Luke Thomas

Court Jester reviews
2007 San Francisco Progressive Convention

By h. brown

June 3, 2007

"Can we agree to go get drunk?"

(and we did, too)

Who says SF Progressives can't agree on anything? While it's true that we had trouble finding a bar (Temple being closed), once we did locate an open watering hole, we instinctively did the right thing. We were coming from the 2007 San Francisco Progressive Convention and we had more things to forget than celebrate. But, if anyone can turn a wake into a party it is this gang.

"We only have 3 beer pitchers."

Harrington's bar at Larkin and Turk. And, I'm not saying they had 3 kinds of beer. I'm saying that they only had three pitcher containers in the entire bar. And, they didn't match. By the time the hardcore had finished straggling in from Chris Daly's convention, there were at least 30 of us and people had to take turns getting full pitchers, pouring them into glasses as fast as possible and running back to the bar for refills.

A grand scene of progressive harmony at Harrington's bar.

The three guys running the pitchers looked like a Keystone fire brigade tossing liquid hopelessly into the raging inferno that was the lefty thirst after the big letdown. The bartender just kind of estimated prices depending upon how big each pitcher was and asked the customer's advice on how to make the individual drinks they ordered.

With that kind of disorganization and uncertainty, I'd say this place could easily become Progressive headquarters, coz when push comes to shove, they are a real Irish bar and they pour a generous shot … as they say.

Harrington's is a great bar

With one hell of a stock of hard liquor. I saw right away that was their long suit and ordered a double bourbon out of the well with a small beer back (serious drinkers interpret for Gen X'ers). Then, seeing the line growing behind me, I changed the order to a triple, and then the inevitable quadruple.

The saloon has been there for pushing a hundred years and though it's always rumored to be closing, like Tom Ammiano, it just keeps opening for business every day.

"I'm a Jew, so I can say that."

(Larry 'the fairy' analyzes Zionism)

We were all in Boyd Alley behind the bar smoking reefer laced with hash, trying to find a better place to be between our ears. It was great hash and it worked real good. Me and Terrie Fry and Charles Kalish and Larry and several others and everyone else said don't used their names if I write about it, so I'm not.

Charles Kalish sucking up the helium.

Inside, a tag-team of boot-lickers tried to talk Ross Mirkarimi into changing his mind and jumping into the battle against Gavin Newsom. According to the latest David Binder poll, Ross is the most popular Progressive politician with an approval rating in the high teens. Naturally, everyone wants him to run for mayor.

Supervisor Ross "run-on sentence" Mirkarimi

We have some real doozie politicians in our army. Carole Migden showed up and began her talk by telling us that we didn't clap long enough for her as she approached the stage. Then, she said that what we needed to do was to found a "Fourth Reich". I became frightened like a child and went to cling to Phil Matier who was the only real man in the room.

Senator Carole Migden

h Brown with Phil "Mathilda" Matier

The rally was in a grade school and the decorations were a mixture of stuff that the kids had put up and stuff the Progs had hung. It was hard to tell which was which.

"Platform Proposal: Deport Rebublicans, they are all aliens.
Quarantine Democrats, most appear infected."

There was a sign in front of a packed classroom being taught 'Nuts and bolts of campaigns' by campaign vet, Bruce Wolfe … it said stuff like: 'Play nice with others' and 'share' and 'visualize your story'. It took awhile for me to realize that the sign was for the 3rd graders who normally occupied the room.

Bruce "nuts and bolts" Wolfe

Another sign gave everyone their assignments. Sebastian was in charge of attendance. Sarah had chalkboard duty. Yeah, another one made up for the kids. Again, we aren't that organized.

Our theme sign, in fact, was a rip-off from the Warriors' playoff T shirts. We all cheered loudly when Daly held it up. It said: 'We Believe!'. I yelled louder than anyone, then leaned to Andy Ross who was sitting next to me looking like a teenager with his baseball hat turned around backwards … "I really don't believe." I told Andy. Turns out he doesn't either.

Supervisor Chris "We Believe" Daly

"This was H. L. Mencken's drink."

It looked and tasted like varnish remover which it may have well been. The 'other Marc' ordered it to impress the hulking Irish bartender who was game enough, and curious enough, to pour himself a sip of the stuff left in the mixer.

Randy Knox and I were at the bar with Luke Thomas watching all this stuff while a growing crowd pushed every table in the place together until it was one huge Arthurian beer hall table, with Ross Mirkarimi as the King.

I went over and apologized to the D-5 rookie supe for screaming "DALY! DALY! DALY!" while his folks were screaming "Run Ross, Run!" but that I didn't know that Daly wouldn't announce his own candidacy... and that I felt just terrible and that I thought that they should both run... and I heard he was going to cancel his art parties cause the sheriff's deputies are still hassling all the pot patients who come to see him (now, the deputies are turning people away for having the pipes in which you smoke your pot - they are splitting hairs and requiring you to have joints rolled in paper - this can't be Hennessey's idea).

Where was I? Yeah, we all got big drinks so we wouldn't have to go back often cause the bartender was snowed.

Matt Smith was the star of the whole day

The City's best investigative reporter showed up with a film crew and spent the day doing lengthy interviews with pretty much everyone of note. He caught Josh Wolf and Mirk and Daly and Migden and a few bloggers amongst others. A lot of bloggers actually. Smith doesn't get out to our events much and he's very famous cause we appreciate talent and don't care if you say bad things about us as long as you write them well.

Chris Daly and Josh Wolf

Hennessey takes some time out

From the way the Sheriff was dressed, I'd say he was either working on his car or digging a hole in his back yard when he decided on impulse to come on over and address the crowd. Mike was my first choice for Mayor and I stand by that. The guy's an unpretentious giant.

Sheriff Michael "he's got the whole wide world in his hands" Hennessey

Raucus caucus focused on hokus pokus

You cudda made a bundle if you'd brought baskets of rotten fruit. Eventually, the audience pretty much stopped listening to the speakers as the din of private conversations soon overwhelmed the PA system.

A little pocket of Gonzalez worshippers sat in a circle near the stage and showed each other wallet-sized shots of their hero. Negotiations for an appearance by Matt broke down when he said that there was no way he was going to attend any convention that wasn't named after him.

I swear there was a huge clown with a heavily armed bodyguard wandering through the crowd. It was like an evening with Mad Max at the Thunderdome. I kept looking for Tina Turner to show up and Sophie Maxwell was looking good enough to play the part.

Kenny the Clown

The media was the real show

I tried to get around to insulting each and everyone of them, but there were just too many. I patted Tim Redmond on the back and asked him what it was like to be Robert Haaland's assistant. Someone tried to take my picture with Cecilia Vega but she ran screaming down the hall. Wyatt Buchanan refused to be photographed, claiming diplomatic immunity. All the while, the SF Weekly's enigmatic, Matt Smith drew Escher-like crowds of reporters watching a reporter interview other reporters.

Steven Jones blasted in and out and I was able to compare his beloved 'Burning Man' to Jonestown in passing. The Guardian editor's main squeeze, Alix Rosenthal made a head-turning entry with Clint Reilly spouse, Janet. Lord, Lord, Lord, the only thing better than watching a beautiful blonde enter the room is watching 2 beautiful blondes enter the room.

Janet Reilly and Jim Rivaldo

Jackson West was his snarky self. Fog City's Luke Thomas brought 'Plus One' hottie, Elaine Santore, who writes for him and SFist. Elaine and new pal, Hope Johnson, were even prettier than the Reilly/Rosenthal entry … if that's possible.

Hope Johnson and Elaine Santore

I introduced them (Elaine and Hope) to Frontlines editor, Chris Finn, whom I introduced as: "San Francisco's last communist". He's real tall and good looking and stuff and I thought the ladies would enjoy him. They did and he told them all about dialectical materialism, then went away to drive a BART train.

Care not Cash got you down?

The Board of supes' rockingest members were all there. I sternly asked Gerardo Sandoval if his mother knew he was on the Board of Supervisors. I hate lots of Sophie Maxwell's votes, but god that woman is an African Queen. She and Ahimsa Sumchai are polar opposites politically but who listens when beauty like that graces a stage?

Supervisor Gerardo Sandoval

Ammiano was funny as hell as always. He has no competition for Assembly as yet and probably won't. Mark Sanchez announced for Tom's seat on the Board a bit back as did Eric Quesada and David Campos (see the picture of me kissing him - had to do it 3 times to get it right and almost came out of the closet right there).

Supervisor Tom "kiss my gay ass" Ammiano

Police Commissioner David Campos gets a smoocher from h Brown.

I like Krissy Keefer there as I do for just about everything else. Like her for D-9 supe, I mean. Hang onto your hats if I can get her to declare for Mayor next week. Step up ladies, the men are yellow.

I introduced Jake McGoldrick to Jerry Jarvis with the line of: "Hey Jerry, do you recall Jake McGoldrick?". I think it was Jerry. Jake has a helluva sense of humor and is only offended when he understands what you're saying, and then only for a short time.

Supervisor Jake "go ahead, make my day" McGoldrick

Ahhh, this is a fun column and I have some nice sativa to start the day with and a glass of champagne. Whatever, I was noticing how good-looking most of the candidates are. Oh, there are some ugly ones and they know who they are and so do you, so I won't mention them as being ugly. But, generally speaking, the uglier a candidate is the smarter they are.

Nobody mentioned Ed Jew. Not even once.

My buddy Abdullah, the homeless advocate told me to tell you that he was thrown out of the 'Next Door' shelter on May 31st and 150 Otis on the evening of June 1st for advocating for the homeless. This is very important because Abdullah is not insane, and he is not a drunk, and he does not do drugs. He merely advocates for the homeless in the shelter (where they often refuse to provide even toilet paper).

Abdullah (center) holds up a sign that read: "Ross, do you want to be our next mayor?"

Abdullah is being persecuted for his work in the shelter and the crews of those 2 shelters on those 2 nights should be investigated. The shelters and their operations are criminal. They even try to keep the Shelter Monitoring Committee out of the places and that ain't right. Do something, Angela...

... Other than stand me up

I lobbied the Sicilian queen bee all week to attend the event with me. Like all good fag hags, I enjoy being controversial. Hey, I go to a Bob Pritikin party with you and you go to a Matt Gonzalez art opening with me. She bailed at the last minute. It would have been great to walk her to the stage and have her announce for Mayor of San Francisco after the guys waved white flags.

I hammered Paul Hogarth of Beyond Chron mercilessly for selling out to the mayor. Randy Shaw smartly kept the length of the room between he and myself.

Eric Mar announced his candidacy for District 1 and Jake McGoldrick promptly endorsed him. Jeff Adachi gave a spirited speech that meant little because he could have announced for mayor and the place would have exploded.

Progressive college board trustees John Rizzo, Johnnie Carter, Milton Marks, and Julio Ramos, were mercifully short in comments.

I chatted briefly with Howard Strassner who was the only one who spoke up on behalf of the small sailboat owners being forced from the Marina. I shook hands with Willie Ratcliff and told Theresa Sparks that police violence will decrease by 50% once we get them tested for steroids.

Joe Lynn cracked up at something I called to Rita Hao of SFist as she swept through.

More luminaries

Barry Hermanson was there talking to Milton Marks (who also was a featured speaker) about $4 canvas bags as campaign literature. I mistook James Tracy for the guy who runs the Homeless Coalition (Juan Prada - whom I didn't see) which is understandable cause I wanted him to have the job.

I ran into Chance Martin's former honey, Elena, whom I know from the Reagan years. Bobbie Coleman (he's a Matt person, so there were several there - Cat too) was explaining how IRV could not possibly work in our favor this election. Jerry Jarvis and I hung out but I didn't see his camera. Michael Strickland showed up with pal, Lou coming from Newsom Headquarters.

Bob Coleman, Cat Rauschuber and Randall Knox

Bob Coleman loses a stare down with Chris Daly

Diamond Dave Whittaker danced to the rap music and spoken word poetry that captured the stage for intermission. Featured was an amazing lady named 'Tiny' from Poor Magazine. Read her last few years and always thought she was a he.

David Owen spoke with Ted Gullickson about God knows what. Medea Benjamin did just that. Donna Linden and Andy Blue guided all 300 plus people from their table at the convention entry.

Medea Benjamin looks up to Ross Mirkarimi

Sue Vaughan gave me her house keys and best wishes for a restful week as she hits the road on a cross-country drive to visit family. Savannah Blackwell arrived without a bunch of pounds she had last time I saw her, looking luscious and in at least 'crush' stage with a new beau I won't name.

James Keyes oversaw much of the nuts and bolts of the assembly and we're all grateful. The menu was fab tacos with rice and beans and healthy salad and good juices and breads. Coffee, tea and good conversation.

I blasted Kim Knox for publishing a piece criticizing Daly on Pat Murphy's Sentinel, then having the nerve to crash the event. Rick Knee talked to Michael Goldstein.

Believe it or what, green is to Daly as brown is to Murphy.

I talked to John Dunbar about Eileen Left while Susan King listened and laughed. Ray Tobin's genitals were boldly evident in his painted-on cylcling pants.

Julian Davis dropped a bunch of weight cause he's unemployed and we discussed his running for Mayor (Barack Obama style?) … as an alternative employment option. John Avalos listened and practiced his speech declaring his candidacy for the Board of Supervisors for the City and County of San Francisco from the 11th District.

Julian Davis (Center)

Supervisoral aide John Avalos filed papers Friday with the Department of Elections declaring his candidacy for the 2008 race for District 11 Supervisor.

Vicky Leidner buzzed the room doing things that needed to be done. Her love interest, John Ragdono taught a break-out session upstairs where Michael Nulty drank in details and Bruce Livingston of Senior Action Network prepared to speak. Rick Hauptman stood near Jim Rivaldo who can't decide whether I'm dangerous crazy or just crazy.

Terrance Allen came over to deny he's the richest pornographer in town and Mark O'Hera denied having threatened to kill past political opponents. Raphael Mandelson puppy-dogged Migden while Frank Chu stood by their side with his '12 Galaxies' sign.

I told Richard Marquez lies while former Guardian writer (now, Cal Phd in Geography candidate) Rachel Brahinsky listened in dismay. I talked to Doug Comstock and Pat Monk about Laguna Honda and to Bob Bingham about Leno's campaign.

It was a great day

Perhaps if the Lord had meant for us to have a male candidate for mayor, they'd have been born with balls. Unfortunately, while there was lots of smoke all over that place all day, there was no one with the balls to challenge Gavin Newsom for Mayor. That's sad.

The 'after' party was wonderful. I bullshit a lot but I truly love these people. If ever there was a non-profit, unselfish and hard-working bunch of quality losers, it is the San Francisco Progressive movement.

You gotta love 'em.

h. brown is a 62 year-old keeper of sfbulldog.com, an eclectic site featuring a half dozen City Hall denizens. h is a former sailor, firefighter, teacher, nightclub owner, and a hard-living satirical muckraker. Email h at h@ludd.net.


Editor's Note: Views expressed by columnists published on FogCityJournal.com are not necessarily the views or beliefs of Fog City Journal. Fog City Journal supports free speech in all its varied forms and provides a forum for a complete spectrum of viewpoints.



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